A little yacht that feels like a fare floating around Bora Bora

Sailing on the Haumana in like being in a floating fare

Patti Pietschmann

Over water fares in Bora Bora by Richard Pietschmann

Over water bungalows aka: fares, are the preferred accommodations for most people visiting French Polynesia–but they do come with a price. However, it just doesn’t get any better than being able to slip into the water off your porch or view the azure-colored lagoons from your coffee table. Except possibly taking an all-inclusive cruise on a tiny luxury yacht from beautiful Bora Bora. The fares start at $1,800 a person for three nights accommodations, all meals, a selection of free wines, a half-day excursion to Taha’a, the Vanilla Island; and activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a barbeque on a motu and other aquatic and cultural experiences. It may sound steep, but this is quite a bargain when you factor in all the extras.

Otemanu in Bora Bora by Richard Pietschmann

Before we go any farther, let me say that French Polynesia is very expensive and doing it a la carte can break most people’s bank accounts. But this cruise includes all extras so you don’t have to worry that a drink will cost a fortune (it does at some bars) or dinners will be a set back to your kid’s college fun or your mortgage payment.

The little boat follows the routes of the ancient Polynesians and is manned by a 100% Tahitian crew who impart their love of their islands — as well as its music and crafts. Having been to the area many times I can tell you that the food served on the islands is exceptional. After all, it is French Polynesia and the French are fussy about their food. So I believe it when they tell me the chefs do a fabulous job of fixing meals on the Haumana. Obviously I have yet to sample the fare.

The yacht is cozy and comfy more barefoot than spikes and a great way to pay a leisurely visit to the one of the most stunning destinations in the world.

Of course you woudn’t want to fly all the way to French Polynesia just for three nights. There are many hotels from which to choose but be sure to take the American Plan which comes with three meals or the Modified American Plan that comes with two, because as I said, it can be very expensive. Met many unsuspecting couples who wished they have booked their room with meals. One couple was practically living on French bread (which is really crusty and good but not that nutritional) when they realized how expensive lunch and dinner were.

To book your cruise or get meet information click on https://haumana-tahiti.com/en/itineraries/ and to find other packages with hotels and yacht go to https://www.tahititravel.com.au/haumana-poerava-cruise-10-night-package/, You will find one great sounding deal for $7,699 for 10-days all inclusive. After you sample French Polynesia for the first time, you’ll want to go back. Once is never enough in this tropical paradise, trust me.

Tahiti by Richard Pietschmann 

Are you ready to find paradise?


Lazy days on chic Crystal Cruises(photos)

Nothing like sailing on the open sea on Crystal Symphony or Serenity with nothing to do to but..

By Patti Covello Pietschmann with photos by Richard Pietschmann

Love days at sea? Most seasoned cruisers do. Some of us  actually more than others.  For instance my first mate, Richard, and I often choose itineraries where there are more days at sea than in ports. A couple of times we took 18-day cruises that only stopped in four ports along the way to Europe or back from Lisbon. We’re not  alone,  many of our ship mates on these cruises have been there done, that, so they pick a cruise where they can simply  chill out. Some ships are more fitting for sea days like

Photo courtesy Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises Serenity and Symphony.

On sea days on either luxury liner there are scads  of activities in which to take part, or not.  You can take exercise classes (Pilates, Yoga, stretch, cardio and more;or work out in the fully-equipped fitness center on your own).  There are language lessons, games, a jogging track, one of the most impressive Enrichment Programs and Computer University at Sea (with 40  27″ Apple iMacs)

where I mastered PhotoShop and other technical tricks. There is a well-stocked and inviting library that holds more than 2,000 books and a thousdand DVDs from which to choose movies to watch in your  stateroom.

offering head to toe  pampering; large swimming pools; steam baths and saunas; golf cages, paddle tennis courts,
 movies in a well-equipped theater complete with free popcorn, evening shows, bars and lounges with free drinks all around all the time and plenty  of deck space  and cushy lounges in which to plotz for moments of Zen. There is WiFi hookup throughout the ships for those who want to  stay connected, and  big screen computers to use in the Cyber Cafe.

Of course there’s also lots of  food options with casual breakfast and lunch buffets, the main restaurant and two  tops of the sea alternative dining venues: the Nobu-inspired Silk Roadwith mouth-wateringmenus,
and the equally exceptionally tasty food at the Valentino-like Prego.

You can also spend your sea days  in your stateroom wrapped in a big fluffy  robe ordering  room service,which is available around the clock, watching movies on the TV, sitting on your balcony or napping in a  Frette-linen-covered bed.

Butler service

The savvy seafarer’s cruise album

By  Richard and Patti Pietschmann

We’ve taken cruises on ships of every size and style from mega liners to small luxury vessels and written about  them in newspapers,magazines and on the web (most recently  www.cruiseable.com) and here are a few good photos from our voyages:

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Spa  time

Crystal Cruises deck and butler for our  penthouse stateroom

 Morning buckwheat pancakes on Crystal Cruises 

 A birthday/anniversary celebration on Silversea

 Dining on the deck of the Seabourn Quest

 A seafood fest on board Regent Seven Seas Mariner Alaska Cruise

 Regent SS Mariner stateroom stewardess

 A veal chop  on RSSC Mariner


 A veal chop at  Silversea Hot Rocks

Dining a Le Champagne on Silversea

 Leaving Bora Bora

Paddle  tennis  on Crystal Serenity

 Happiness is having room service breakfast on Crystal Cruisses

 Bora Bora

 The mighty Amazon from Seabourn Quest

French Polynesia from a Princess Cruise

Ruby Princess

And it doesn’t end here, next trip Queen Mary2 from New York to Southampton, England; Seabourn Encore, Silversea Muse, RSSC Explorer and others. Stay tuned.